200 NYC schools saw a quarter of their students absent Tuesday

Roughly 200 city schools saw a quarter of their kids absent from class on Tuesday, according to a Post analysis of Department of Education data.

While overall attendance was 85 percent, a swathe of city schools are still struggling to curb absenteeism in the early stages of the new year.

The DOE stressed that the daily figures are preliminary and that attendance calculations at some schools have been muddled by student quarantines and accounting delays.

The department has declined to say how many kids have shown up to school each day and are instead offering percentages.

A total of 51 schools had absentee rates of 40 percent or higher on Tuesday while 24 had less than half of their kids in class.

Another 35 did not submit attendance data Tuesday, according to the DOE. There are roughly 1,600 public city schools.

A total of 51 schools had absentee rates of 40 percent or higher on Sept. 21, 2021.
James Messerschmidt for NY Post

The agency noted that many of the buildings with especially dire attendance are transfer schools that serve troubled kids who had previously dropped out or fallen behind on credits.

Some parents have opted not to send their children to school this year due to ongoing concerns over the coronavirus pandemic.

As of Tuesday, 985 kids and 502 teachers have tested positive for COVID-19 thus far.

A total of 612 classrooms are currently shuttered due to infections along with one entire school in East Harlem.

It remains unclear if skittish parents account for the bulk of absent kids to this point.

One Bed-Stuy middle school teacher said some students became habituated to not being in classrooms due to the pandemic.

6/23/21  Real estate (pictured) of PS 197, (a.k.a. The Ocean School) at 825 Hicksville Rd, Far Rockaway, Queens.
As of Sept. 21, 2021, 985 kids and 502 teachers have tested positive for COVID-19 this school year.
Gregory P. Mango

“They got used to not being in class,” she said. “You can’t help but wonder if that’s driving up some of these absence numbers. You would think they’ll improve with time.”

Brooklyn College and CUNY Grad Center education professor David Bloomfield said that the DOE should focus on determining the root causes for continued absences.

“What are the reasons for chronic absenteeism this year?” he asked. “Is it illness, is it COVID-related, or are they staying home because they’re just not used to going to school?”

DOE spokesperson Nathaniel Styer highlighted that attendance has ticked up as the year has progressed.

“We’re excited to be back full-time after 18 long months of blended learning, and our updated daily attendance rate for the first day of school is 85.2 percent,” Styer said. “Preliminary rates continue to increase as our educators do the important work of connecting with every student and family.”